11 Impressive Health Benefits of Annatto (Atsuete)

Annatto or Atsuete benefits are preventing cataracts, treating gonorrhea, home remedy for sunburn, wrinkles and early signs of aging, controlling congenital disabilities, support dermal healing, prevent cancer development and strengthen the kidney. Other benefits includes reducing stomach issues, supporting strong bones, aiding healthy digestion and providing essential nutrients to the body.

What is Annatto?

Annatto often called Atsuete. It is mainly found in a subtropical region of America due to the presence of favorable growth condition. This Native American spice wildly used culinary pigment and additive. Its size ranges from 6 to 10 cm while its truck size is 20 to 30 cm long. It contains oval leaves and a bright flower with a size range from 2.5 cm. You found annatto in the market with the following names; achiote, Orleansstrauch, Onotillo, Onoto, Annatto, Urucum, Lipstick Plant and Mugo-simu.

Annatto has been used since ages in Central America and the Caribbean to treat ranges of disease which make it traditional food in western culture. The presence of high-level tocotrienols also makes it best supplement to treat edema and immune-deficiency syndrome.

Culinary Uses

Annatto is used as a traditional ingredient in Jamaican, Vietnamese, Latin America and Filipino cuisines. Its seeds are grounded to form a powder and paste to make it usable for culinary purpose. It considered the standard item in the preparation of Spanish food. Its pigment is also used to give color to the rice. Annatto also added in sauces and condiments to enhance the flavor of Venezuelan cuisine.

Annatto has been wildly used in industries as a food additive since 16th century primarily in the preparation of Gloucester cheese. In warm weather condition, this plant produces a high concentration of carotene in the grass and gives orange tint which extracted and processed to use for cheese preparation. The practice of adding color in cheeses has gained importance in the industrial world after the discovery of annatto pigment.

Nutritional Profile of Annatto

Nutrients mg/g
Carbohydrates 20g
Fat 0.0g
Vitamin C 21mg
Sodium 5mg
Dietary fiber 1.1g
Foliate 87.8g
Iron 0.6g
Vitamin A (1.2 IU)
Energy 108 kcal
Calcium 75mg
Protein 4.0g

11 Impressive Health Benefits of Annatto (Atsuete)

11 Impressive Health Benefits of Annatto (Atsuete)

1. Prevent Cataracts

The high content of carotenoid is good for your ideal system due to the presence of an antioxidant in the form of carotenoid which gives a red color to its seeds. That’s why it is considered as beneficial ingredients for your eye as it also reduces the occurrence of cataracts and other eye disorder. The high concentration carotenoid also provides you better eye health and keeps your eye vision stronger for years. But only consider red annatto, as it is only rich in carotenoid.

2. Treats Gonorrhea

Annatto has extensively used to treat gonorrhea as a home remedy for ages. The sufferer of gonorrhea can add this food to their diet to get rid of the painful disease. Patients can also use it for topical and internal purpose which successfully removes all STD syndromes.

3. Antioxidant Nature

The well-known antioxidant properties of its seeds are also beneficial for your skin that why it wildly use in cosmetics industries. But besides its processed application, you can also use it as a home remedy to treat sunburn, wrinkles and early signs of aging. Its application is not restricted for a tropical purpose; you can also use it orally to get the same results.  As its anti-oxidant nature remove free- radical and toxins from your body and keep you prevented from harmful particulate matter.

4. Control Congenital Disabilities

Annatto seeds are also rich in folic acid which is essential for the healthy development of the fetus. Doctors recommend folic acid during pregnancy phase as it keeps congenital disabilities at bay and promotes the healthy development of the fetus. It also reduces the occurrence of neural tube defects in infants.

5. Dermal Healing

Annatto also has the ability deal with wounds and injuries due to the presence of anti-oxidant. Its incredible property heals damaged cells and tissues and simultaneously reduces skin blemishes, spots and provides you radiant look. If you are worried about your saggy skin and facing troubles with any skin problems, then increase the use of annatto in your diet as it readily alleviates a multitude of skin complications. It also considered an active antimicrobial ingredient and keep vary skin infection at bay.

6. Prevent Cancer Development

Few of the cancerous condition is inherited, but most of them are caused by an environmental factor in which most prominent cause of cancer is free-radicals. Fortunately, we are not alone with these carcinogens; nature has also provided us many essential ingredients to deal with these rivals in which annatto is also found to be effective against cancer cells. The Norbixin anti-oxidant in annatto exerts anti-mutagenic response on healthy cells.

7. Strengthen Kidney

Annatto leaves and seeds are anti-bacterial.  This natural diuretic protects you from irreversible kidney damages and provides better functioning of your kidneys. It also facilitates waste excretion and balances hormonal level. Not enough it also prevented you from hepatitis, malaria, and fever when consumed on a daily basis.

8. Reduce Stomach Issues

Annatto acts as a natural stomach pain reliever when you consume it with herbal tea and other beverages.  Its nutritional profile is good enough to treat stomach cramping, flatulence, and other stomach issues. If you are keen on spicy food, then add annatto to your diet as it effectively alleviates all stomach stress and soreness.

9. Provide Stronger Bones

Annatto seeds are also rich in calcium which is especially necessary for this era where a variety of the food is contaminated with a microorganism, and very few of them left with essential nutrients. But this food gives you the lead and eliminates the hindering factor that poses an adverse effect on your bones. The high concentration of calcium fulfills your calcium need and prevents you from painful diseases such as osteoporosis and osteomalacia. It sufficient calcium content keeps your bones healthy for longer.

10. Aids Healthy Digestion

As rich in fiber annatto helps in the absorption of an essential nutrient in your body. It is also softening your stool and promotes healthy digestion which in results lowering the prevalence of constipation. Its benefits are not confined to healthy bowel movement, but it also reduces the level of cholesterol and balance blood-sugar level. Annatto is also beneficial for an obese patient as it is also used as weight reducing therapy.

11. Enriched with Nutrients

Its Rich nutritional profile provides you essential nutrients. The sufficient content of calcium, Iron vitamin-3, vitamin B-2, calcium, and phosphate keep you prevented from nutrient-deficiency. Its phytochemical compounds are also considered as a useful diuretic to treat varies disease.


Its toxicity is not yet discovered however some cases of an allergic reaction is reported in people those who have weak immune-response. Since it has no highlighted side effects but still, its consumption should be prohibited in varies conditions such as in the phase of pregnancy or during surgical incision.

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